Wednesday, April 6
This little beauty is aloe polyphylla, spiral aloe, an endangered rarity from the Drakensberg and Maluti mountains of Lesotho, made available through the incredible efforts of Alan Beverly, who managed to propagate enough from seed (a very iffy proposition) to offer some for sale. His website says he's changing marketing arrangements for 2005; you can contact him if you're interested. Seed propagation is so chancey that most of what you find is probably micro-propagated; either way they're expensive. I doubt anybody is actually stealing plants from the wild, but do make sure the dealer is reputable.
She's heading for her second birthday (here, that is, making her four in aloe years). That's a 12-inch pot and she needs repotting. The rosette has splayed over winter under the grow-lights, but will tighten up with some genuine sun.
Two days of sun and seventy degrees and I got to do some work in it this afternoon. Everything's exploded; the tulip trees (the state tree and my favorite spring flowerer) are putting on quite a show. The earliest of the asiatic lilies are six inches tall overnight. Everything except the coneflowers and wormwood are at least poking their heads up in the herb bed. Wormwood, for some reason, just doesn't seem to overwinter here, though it's well protected and the one at our last house lived for years. Guess that's part of the fun.
Over the weekend I replaced the crumbling cement pavers in the path around the roses with bluestone. Three hundred fifty pounds of bluestone. I was fifty-one when I started. Not sure how old I am now. But I do intend to find out why fifty-pound sacks of sand weight ninety pounds.